Adobe Online Store - not for India?

I have raised this issue in past, Mrinal Wadhwa raises the same issue, where he is not being able to buy FlexBuilder 3.

It's hard to get in touch with resellers, most of the resellers have never heard of FlexBuilder (yeah true) and resellers want four weeks time to deliver, four weeks? I can finish a good small project in that time :-)
I wonder, why we (people from India) can not buy software from Adobe online store? There might be reasons but is Adobe working to solve/fix those issues (tax or whatever)?

BTW! This gives me another reason to evangelize opensource-flex. All the events, I attend, I say: We don't need FlexBuilder, we can do everything with Flex SDK.

Now I am going to say: We don't need FlexBuilder, we can't buy even if we want to, let's not waste our time. Start using Flex SDK - that's all we need :-)
I am very hopeful, we would start seeing opensource tools for flex development. I would love to be part of any such project and can contribute in anyway - hey I am totally cool with Java, so count me in ;-)
BTW! I have got some ideas, I would start some projects soon.
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Meet the Flex team

Matt Chotin has posted some videos, where he creatively introduces us to most of the Flex/FlexBuilder team members and also talks about various behind the scene things.
It's really nice to see everyone, once upon a time I used to work with them.
In one particular scene, I laughed loud when Alex Harui says "No more questions". Most of the Flex team (Gordon, Deepa, et al) are very active, but Alex is like everywhere on high traffic flexcoders list. There was a time, Matt Chotin, Manish and I could be seen answering most of the questions on flexcoders.
I am always interested in behind-the-scene stuff, be it movies, software or anything else. Thanks Matt for the videos.

Check out the videos

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Flex India community grows more

Mrinal posted about the (1000+) numbers, that is, number of members in Flex India community (flex-india). It's really nice to see how number has grown, it surely validates that a lot more companies are using Adobe RIA technologies (Flex/Flash/AIR).
Not very long back, almost same time last year, we started discussing how to build Flex/Flash/AIR ecosystem in India. Though figures are encouraging, I feel, we still have a long way to go. Following are things, I would personally like to see and do:-

  • More participation internationally (via flexcoders, blogs, etc)
  • More code contribution (components, libraries, etc)
  • More innovation (quality discussions, product development, etc)

We know that, most of us (Indian developers) are driven by client's requirement, which means most of the Indian companies are using Adobe RIA technologies because that's a requirement. What I would like to see, more proactive approach towards technology adoption, once that happens, the vision (above points) would come true.
I am sure, it would happen, I have been optimistic. I would try to my bits my way :-)
Congratulations to everyone for achieving this milestone and all the best for future.
Some of my blogs on Indian Flex/AIR community:-

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Mogulus Grid

I have talked about Mogulus in past, they keep on innovating. I love Mogulus Grid on their homepage. It's just a nice way to see channels.
I had an opportunity to meet Mogulus guys, when they started started development in Bangalore, during our first Bangalore Flex user group. These guys have been working hard, I hope, Google buys them.
Right now watching hazarTV :-)
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I am part of Flash Platform evolution.

I was at Flex User Group meeting in Bangalore. The room was full of developers, designers and managers interested in Adobe Flash Platform (Flex/Flash/AIR). I was, quietly, noticing things while various thoughts were going on in my mind.

I have been part of Flash (Platform) ecosystem for around nine years now. I remember old days of were-here, flashkit, flashcoders, flashcomm, flashlounge, indiammug, etc. I got to know some of great guys, who have inspired me in many ways.

I have seen Flash Platform evolving and probably know reasons why certain things (Royale - Flex, Central, etc) happened. It's great to see, how businesses and developers/designers are embracing Flash Platform today. It's great feeling that I belong to the batch who is among the oldest in my country and probably, this planet.

Those old days were fun, good to be among creative guys with amazing programming skills. We saw some great stuff (3d, chat, games, funky effects, nice apps, forms, etc) with limited capabilities of Flash 4.

It was amazing feeling, when I saw Flash 5 beta in Macromedia seminar in year 2000. I could see the expressions (wow) on everyone's face and the excitement after seeing something - Flash 5 (amazing tool, ActionScript 1.0, XMLSocket, XML, Objects, etc).

Today is a big day, I am again witnessing something (AIR 1.0 release). I am equally excited, as I was during Flash 5 release. Honestly, I was more excited then because things were not that open, you would get to know about a product's next version during some event or leaked information from few beta-testers, unlike today where prerelease cycles allows us to play with product/tool even before it's released. But you get this feeling, you are part of product development, which was not there (for everyone).

I am sure, when I would look back after some years, I would feel more proud and happy for being part of an ecosystem and this community. I believe, success of Flash, Flex and AIR is result of the beliefs of thousands of developers and designers, who were always passionately involved, even in various up-down times. Times when your identity as a developer was questioned, because you were working with Flash, but hey who cares about what someone says, if you are in love with something.

It was hard to get a project or job with this skill-set, at-least in India. Even today, many companies are blind enough not to see how cool Flash Platfom is, but it's lot easier now to convince them compared to what it used to be then.

Many religious and emotional developers, like me, who would fight or do anything to prove that Flash (meant: SWF, Player, ActionScript or technology in general) is the best. I have grown up now, probably different phase of life, I focus on products, ideas, users more now, but I am still in love with ActionScript and Flash Player.

Thanks to Macromedia/Adobe for listening and interacting us (developers/designers) in all possible ways (blogs, forums, mailing-lists, etc).
An old link (http://macromedia.com/into) still works. People talking about how Flash changed their lives, I am also somewhere in there :-)

Adobe Flex 3.0, AIR 1.0 and OpenSource Flex

News is out, everyone knows by now - Adobe Flex 3.0 and AIR 1.0 are released. Very interesting moments for many of us, specially teams who have been working for long time to make this release possible. I congratulate Adobe Flex and AIR team, thanks for developing tools/software/framework that makes our lives easier.

Another thing, I am very excited about is the portal/website that would host all opensource stuff from Adobe. You can see Adobe Flex, BlazeDS and Tamarin there. I can see a lot of things on opensource.adobe.com,  source-repositories (Subversion) is the most interesting there ;-)

Thanks Adobe, once again.

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Mashup = Yahoo! Live + Yahoo! Maps + Yahoo! Pipes

After couple of hours, I have come up with simple mashup that uses Yahoo! Live API, Yahoo! Maps (AS3 library) and Yahoo! Pipes. This mashup, simply, shows live broadcasts (channels) on the map.
Check out the mashup!
I love new Yahoo! Maps AS3 libarary, Yahoo! Live and more than these, I love Yahoo! Pipes, it's cool. I created a pipe in ten minutes and which saved (actually deleted) at least fifty (50) lines of code to handle Yahoo! Live API calls, results, get geo-data and aggregate.
Consuming Yahoo! Live API requires many HTTP requests to get data, whereas with Yahoo! Pipes, one request is good enough. I know, Yahoo! Pipes is doing most of thing on it's server but it does help us and users.
Yahoo! Live server doesn't have liberal crossdomain.xml (policy-file), so I needed proxy on my server, that's not even required with Yahoo! Pipes, so lots of server-bandwidth saved :-)
Check out the Yahoo! Pipe, I created.
You might not see all the live-channels on map because most of the Yahoo! Live users have not updated their profile with their locations(city, state, country) in their profile. So it's hard to get geo-data with existing API, hence those channels are not shown on map.
Sometimes you might see inactive channels on map, that's due to Y! Pipes' caching, I am looking into it.
I would write some more details of the application and code. Once I am done with:-

  • channels within markers
  • status messages
  • AIR app - each channel can be unpinned to a native-window
  • drag & drop markers on desktop to create shortcuts to channels
  • and other things.

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Flashlite: you can't set standard HTTP headers?

It seems you can't set most of the standard http headers in Adobe Flashlite, you can set some custom headers. Ok, it's just like Adobe Flash player security sandbox, but why?
Most of the flashlite applications run in standalone player, not in browser on devices. How I am going to take care of http authentication or similar things. There is no support for more http methods, like head or conditional get requests which make more sense in case of mobile application which run under limited data plan or there is no broadband like stuff for most of users.
I wrote a proof of concept twitter application that runs on flashlite. I want to update it to be like other available apps. I am stuck because Flashlite 3.0 doesn't let you set Authorization header, whereas, Flashlite 2.0 allows that. There are more issues, like you can't set http headers in GET request.
Most of these issues also exist in Adobe Flash player, some are security restrictions which make sense for web applications but don't make sense for mobile applications, as mentioned earlier.
It seems Adobe doesn't get enough feedback in pre-release cycles or doesn't consider for various reasons. Get me on pre-release cycle :-)
Adobe Flashlite rocks, but it has to go a long way, in order to compete with other technologies. It's not always about video, vector drawing, eye candies, standalone games, great visual design, xml parsing or sockets; application development requires more.
---posted via mobile---

Why AIR?

Ted Patrick is working on a project "30onair". He is asking people to create/record thirty (30) seconds videos to share their views on either of these:

  • Why AIR?
  • Why Flash?
  • Why Flex?

You can create videos, upload to YouTube and tag the video with "30onair". Check out Ted's post for more details.
I love this initiative because I can express myself and can be heard :-) As usual, Ted has come up with another great idea, he has been doing fantastic job as an evangelist.
I also recorded my version, where I am talking more about use-case instead of technology.
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Very liberal crossdomain.xml on gdata.youtube.com

YouTube has put up a very liberal crossdomain.xml policy file, which would allow flash/flex apps consume it's GData based API without any server-side proxy.
You can read more on YouTube api-blog.
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